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Avalanche Room: Team Responds To Hit On Toews, ‘The Target Is High And It’s At His Head’



Avalanche Cogliano

There were a lot of complaints about the reffing on social media during and after Game Two. Some of it was warranted, and some of it might be a little over the top, but I think it’s fair to say that the better team won the game, at least from my point of view. And that team was not the Colorado Avalanche.

Colorado wasn’t that bad in the first period, but their second period just simply wasn’t good enough. The Avalanche got away with some slow starts against Winnipeg, but the competition is getting tougher and tougher. You can’t fall asleep at the wheel for too long at this point, and Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said as much after the game.

One big moment in that second period was the hit by Jamie Benn on Devon Toews. The Avalanche defenseman left the game, probably because of concussion protocol, but did manage to return. Benn was assessed a major, but after review, managed to get away scot-free. Bednar gave his thoughts on the hit after the game.

Hear from forward Andrew Cogliano, and read what Cale Makar and Bednar had to say after the Avalanche fell 5-3 to the Stars.

Avalanche Forward Andrew Cogliano

Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar


“Yeah, I didn’t mind the first period at all really, to be honest with you. I thought scoring chances first period were hard to come by. And they got their one on the power play. We were just a split-second late reacting on that pass. We had a couple of really good looks right at the end of the period, Parise near the end of the period and then the power play that was running into the break, MacKinnon had a really good look off the rush on that with a rebound opportunity. I thought (Georgiev) made a couple of big saves in the first. So did Oettinger.”

And then the second period though, for me, is where it fell apart. Just not sharp. I mean, just go to the penalties alone and it shows you’re not sharp. You had two too many men on the ice penalties. You had to over-the-glass penalties that are not forced. So it’s eight minutes of power play you’re giving a really good power-play team. And the rest of our execution and frustration kind of keeps building from there. Did not like the second period at all. It just lasted too long – too long of them dominating, too many odd man rushes against trying to make something out of nothing. Just not disciplined, too stubborn with the puck. and It lacked the work needed to have success.

Then we turn around in the third and go to work and it’s what happens.”


“Toews is fine. I don’t know. It’’s a physical game. It’s a physical player. I don’t know. I don’t know what to say. I mean, does he catch a piece of his shoulder? Yeah, I guess you could argue that. But the target is high and it’s at his head and he makes contact with the head. And I’ve seen many times guys get called for the head shot and penalty with a lot less than that, but I guess they didn’t think so. This time of the year, you get to play through some of that stuff. But for me, I don’t know. It just makes me wonder again, what are the rules that I know and don’t know and will never probably figure out. But it is what it is. You got to play through it. I’m glad he’s OK. It’s a physical game this time of year, but I just can’t understand how that was not a penalty, even if it isn’t a five.”


“I didn’t have any problems with our first period at all. I didn’t They got one power-play goal. I thought we played a decent period. It wasn’t our best period, but it was competitive and it was disciplined and it was tight checking and we only made a couple of mistakes. They capitalize on the power play. It’s 1-0. I have no problem with that compared to the second game. (Our) game can’t go away for 20 minutes in the playoffs.”


“Well, they’ve got to go to work. They’ve got to go to work. I thought they were frustrated. They were the guys who got frustrated the quickest and the longest. They’re going to get keyed on this time of year. They have the ability to win games for us if they stick with it and are resilient and play the right way like they have all year. Tonight in the second period, they didn’t. They got frustrated. I was looking for anyone that might be able to give them a spark and help them kind of get their game going, but they’re also partly responsible for that. They have to take it upon themselves to make sure their game is right and in order, probably longer than anybody else because they play the most minutes.”


“Oh yeah, no question, we can clean it up. We were nowhere near as good as we need to be for the middle portion of that game.”


“Part of it, but those…they didn’t do anything to get four powerplays. That’s enough to lose you the game right there. Two powerplay goals. It’s enough to put you behind the eight-ball right there. And that’s just mental mistakes you can’t make this time of year.”


“Yeah, I mean, probably didn’t learn a lot that we didn’t already know from watching them for a week straight while we’re waiting and getting ready and we know them well from the regular season. But I feel the same. We knew it was gonna be a hard fought, long series. We were able to come in and get one game, and, you know, it wasn’t our best game and we were able to push back in this one and get close and it wasn’t anywhere near our best game. We know it’s going to be a battle and we feel good about going home.”


“Yeah, no question. Yeah. It’s a long series and there’s no use getting frustrated. Part of the message after the second is, that’s gone. Can’t fix it now. All you can do is go and put your best foot forward and play as best and hard as you can for the third period and see what happens and that’s they did, so should give our guys a little confidence knowing that if you kind of stick together and not fragment away from your structure and tactical plan, that you have the ability to win hockey games as a group together, and yeah, they’ve shown it in the past. I’m sure we’ll be better when we go home.”


“We always think about them and we generally don’t run from any matchup. We’ll deploy our guys pretty close to the way we always do, but we will move guys around a little bit, depending on situations, time and score of the game, where the face offs are, etc. So we’ll evaluate that. Now we’ve get two games of data to look at and kind of make some decisions from there. But, you know, regardless of who Nate’s playing against, I think that that line can be better than they were tonight. We’re yet to see that lines best in this series. Hopefully going home they’ll bring it to the best of their ability.”

Avalanche Defenseman Cale Makar


“It felt like a lot of those goals were on us. It’s just unfortunate. They just kind of keep compounding like that early in the game. Then we’ve got to dig ourselves out of the hole. Not an ideal way to win games. But there was a lot of compete in that third period, so you’ve got to take that as a positive.”


“Just our compete. It looked like we wanted to attack and force them to make mistakes. That’s when we’re at our best. The guys did a really good job of making plays. When we move our feet, we exploit them, and find open seams. A lot of guys made some great plays on those goals. That’s one positive we can take out of tonight. But we’ve got to move on.”

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Garbage hit from Benn and no penalty.

Joseph Crotty

The Benn hit. The NHL rulebook must be consulted. Rule 48 – Illegal Check to the Head is what it looks like but as called by the on ice crew, correctly I thought, it didn’t rise to that level. Benn just manages to keep it clean enough and never touches his head even incidentally. Rule 48 is either a minor or a match because there is no major or misconduct possible. Charging could have been called but was not. Because Toews suffered injury the refs made the right move in calling for a major and reviewing it. Now this is… Read more »

Jim Stick

“never touches his head”. ROTFLMAO. Benn’s shoulder definitely made contact with his head. Benn has a history of intent to injure hits (Dylan Larkin among others) in the past and this was also an intent to injure hit. It is who Benn is and what he does. The Neanderthal Hockey League turns a blind eye once again. Benn left his feet to deliver the hit. Benn is 6’2. His shoulder hits the side of Toews head at the same time the rest of Benn’s torso hits Toews torso. What the Neanderthal Hockey League fails to realize is that is virtually… Read more »

Jeffrey Anderson

“But the target is high and it’s at his head and he makes contact with the head. And I’ve seen many times guys get called for the head shot and penalty with a lot less than that, but I guess they didn’t think so.” Bednar’s post-game comment on the Benn hit. I guess he and I saw it differently than you about contact to the head. Also, Toews has his head down trying to corral the puck, so that’s his bad with someone like Benn on the ice.?

We have a villain for this series, not like that’s a surprise…


Toews is showing his toughness these playoffs. Was so happy to see him return to the ice after this hit.


I think Manson needs to take care of Benn, but make sure the goon doesn’t get up this time. The officiating has bern horrendous. Clearly the refs are on Vegas’ payroll – can’t let these betting outlets lose too much money if CO wins. Disgraceful.

Mark Arroyo9

That was absolutely a hit to his head and you can see Benn raise his shoulder even to make contact with the head.

Mark Messier

Where was 29 other than cherry picking on the shorty?

Steve Yzerman

29 is 10x the player you ever were, maybe even better than your HOF teammate! You just happened to be on a team with one of the best players of all time. It certainly made you look better than you really are. Your Oilers wouldn’t have even won 1 game against this team. Sorry to be so harsh messier……


Hard to say that the avs “weren’t good enough”, how can you be good enough when the penalty standard doesn’t exist for your opponent and it’s constantly moving for the avs?? NHL officiating is a joke, not funny haha either

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